What does the planet Saturn represent in astrology

The planets: Jupiter and Saturn

Saturn's Chicken Legs & Jupiter's TüchleindeckdicH

Years ago I took part in a very simple astrology test for beginners that a local astro group had set up. That's the only thing I've ever done about an official astrology exam. What I can best remember about the test is not even that I passed it, but that I got a question wrong, to the absolute horror of my perfectionist Virgo ascendant! For the planetary equivalent of "teacher", I wrote "Jupiter". A bright red felt-tip pen had crossed this out and wrote "Saturn" instead. I was completely perplexed. I remembered my primary school teachers well. They were angels from Jupiter. Inspirational and enthusiastic, they gave me a lot of freedom to develop my talents. Saturn types? Not at all.

I imagined a Saturn teacher: humorless and boring, or worse, a grouchy autocrat who only cares about following rules and who torments us with boring numbers and tiresome facts. Saturn has lessons for us. And teachers are authorities, a Saturn word. But for me the terms "teacher" and "Saturn" just didn't fit together emotionally. An elementary astrological rule that I had apparently missed. And that's not the only time I've had the impression that these two planets can easily switch roles.

On the surface, there is hardly a pair of planets that appear to be more different than these two. Jupiter is expansive, bursting at the seams with opportunity, growth and happiness. Saturn, on the other hand, makes everything more solid and provides a solid framework. It brings obstacles, worries and delays with it, but also structure, responsibility, effort and success. In traditional astrology, one is called "the great benefactor" and the other is called "the great evildoer". But these great titles have gotten a little lost in the expanse of contemporary culture. We no longer reckon with never-ending abundance from Jupiter or sorrow from Saturn. Today, the happiness or unhappiness that planets bring us seems to depend more on what we make of them. And if we march too much in one direction, then one of the planets inevitably corrects us in the other direction. If we overstrain our happiness with a confident Jupiter, then his carefree arrogance simply drops us onto Saturn's threshold of loss and despair. If we drive down Saturn's long and lonely street, exert ourselves and toil, take nothing for granted, then at the end we will find Jupiter's lucky star, which rises in the evening light. So instead of being rulers of two different and distant kingdoms, each of them is just a necessary cog on our little cart to success.

An optimistic Jupiter can loosen the grip of an unsuitable or fearful Saturn, just as a responsible Saturn can achieve the enthusiastic, but also quickly noisy highs of a restless Jupiter. Jupiter dangles the carrot while Saturn swings the stick. Jupiter beckons with the future and Saturn brings us back to the past. The philosopher in Jupiter ponders the meaning of life, the monk in him contemplates divine wisdom, the adventurer explores new lands, while the builder, steward and official in Saturn ensures that there are universities, churches and roads for the journey. Jupiter is our eternal child, Saturn the wise old man. As a team, these two unequal friends teach us the opposing and complementary forces of growth and limitation, trust and skepticism, happiness and work, adventure and realism - or as Caroline Casey calls them: "Haagen-Dazs" and "Brown rice".

Jupiter and Saturn are the so-called "social planets", which circle between the personal planets (the sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) and the super-personal planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). While the personal planets symbolize our inner world, Jupiter and Saturn represent society - our outer world. Their conjunction every twenty years signals a social change, a new wave of cultural expectations and experiences. This always finds its climax in the opposition and dissolves into a new wave at the next conjunction. In the natal world they stand for our social fate, based on our hopes and fears, on what we think is possible "out there" or what we fear that it is not possible. Located on the outer edge of the solar system that is visible to our eyes, this team of "good and bad" always patrols the edge of the unknown, of the mystery beyond us - basically everything. At least until we have experienced and interpreted it through this couple and can take a stand for ourselves. And that's the insidious thing about it: What Jupiter and Saturn discover about our world, becomes finally to our world. Conditioned to expect certain experiences, we either use Jupiter or Saturn as a stepping stone to our highest potential or as a gigantic barrier that holds us back. As the structure of reality inherited from our ancestors and as the freedom to transcend it, Saturn and Jupiter are de facto the architects of our world.

Given their great importance to us, it is very clever to ask yourself what stories they have in each horoscope. But unfortunately we cannot always answer this astrologically alone.

For me, Saturn is in the third house of communication, siblings and primary school education. This position indicates childhood difficulties in one of these areas - something that does not apply to me. My sister and I argued, but we also played together. In the first years of school I was so fond of writing and language that I announced that I would be a writer or a speaker. School was heaven to me. Why was I so happy there? Maybe because of Jupiter in the tenth house of public image and authority. I saw my teachers through Jupiter's filter; their encouragement made studying exciting and rewarding for me. I was much more afraid of my mother's criticism at home (Saturn squared with the moon). Not wanting to experience the same rejection at school, I internalized Saturn, did my homework diligently, and obeyed all the rules. Saturn and Jupiter are connected by a square and a half in my horoscope. This is typically a tension aspect, but the interaction worked well for me. My Jupiter in the tenth house sailed skywards and brought me a lot of recognition and some academic honors. My third house Saturn provided me with the foundation for this so I worked hard for any merit.

A woman recently came to me and asked me to look at her son's horoscope. An astrologer had unsettled her because he told her that with Saturn in the third house, her son would certainly have problems at school. From my own experience and because of a well-placed Jupiter in his horoscope, I could actually have reassured her. But my son has exactly the same planetary positions as me: Jupiter in the tenth house in one and a half square to Saturn in three (which also has a tension aspect to the moon). When he was four and a half years old and had less than a year of kindergarten behind him, he told me one day: "I don't need any more school." He is now in secondary school and takes his tasks so lightly that between one and two there are also four. Except when it comes to playing soccer and socializing, he is not at all interested in school. This reveals an unpleasant truth about astrology: What works and is correct in one horoscope does not have to be exactly the same in another.

I learned this very early on, namely when I started horoscope consultations. I thought it would be great and a safe place to start any consultation with "good news from Jupiter". But when I said something about how well things should go in this area of ​​life, the only reaction I got was a questioning, uncomprehending look or a shake of the head. "I'm supposed to be lucky? I see it differently ..." When I came to the Saturn position, I shifted to describing the difficulties. "Not really," said many. What is really bad about such consultations (aside from the fact that it undermines the astrologer's confidence) is that they deny the client his understanding of himself. As a student of astrology I was once in a seminar where a student also denied that he was "lucky" in the area of ​​life where Jupiter was with him. Instead of looking for other ways to express Jupiter in his life, the teacher simply reprimanded his student for apparently not being able to perceive his happiness.

Astrologers need to try just as much to listen as they try to interpret correctly - and discover how the horoscope works this People manifest instead of imposing their personal horoscope interpretation on the client. After the first astrological consultation I ever took, I cried all the way home. The astrologer hadn't asked me a single question. After seeing my Jupiter in the tenth house reigning over my Sagittarius sun (a potential indicator of overseas travel), he decided I needed to become a translator for the United Nations or some other type of world servant teaching disadvantaged people around the world . He was very enthusiastic about what he discovered in my horoscope. Little did he know that I was a) afraid of flying and b) I had come to him with a passionate but fearful desire for a career as a writer. Quite intimidated, I asked him about writing. Maybe that didn't fit into his concept of a Saturn in the third house. In any case, he swept the question away with a wave of his hand and didn't notice at all that the more he told me, the more depressed I got. When I said goodbye to him, I had really deep doubts about myself and my life plans. It was months before I allowed myself to dream of a life as a writer again.

The ironic thing is, had I met him twenty years earlier, his advice would have hit the bull's eye. At the age of nine, I thought of becoming a translator and joining the peace movement. When I was five, I wanted to be a stewardess and travel around the world. When I was sixteen I wanted to study law, also a Jupiter profession. During my early years in college, I took diplomacy and international politics (Jupiter again). I later taught at a local school (even more Jupiter). In keeping with his image, I never ran into an obstacle when moving in his direction. But none of it lasted. If an astrologer had said that Jupiter would bring me happiness in professional life and at the same time blind me to that happiness, I would have vehemently disagreed. In my twenties and thirties, my professional life was completely chaotic and very disappointing. Only from the age of forty did I feel the feeling of happiness again in this area of ​​life.

Planets are dynamic and contain our stories. Maybe we can understand them better if we tell stories in addition to our keyword formulas. With this in mind, I would like to offer you two stories by the Brothers Grimm [1], one for Jupiter and one for Saturn. Just imagine while reading that the curtain would rise and your Saturn or Jupiter was on the stage. Place the actors against the familiar backdrop of your own experience. You may find something to use to brush up on the two characters in your horoscope.

In the fairy tale "The Seven Ravens" a married couple has seven sons; they long for a daughter. After years of waiting, the woman finally gives birth to a girl, but the child is so small and scrawny that it cannot be hoped that it will survive the baptism. The father sends his sons to the well to fetch water for the baptism, but in a hurry the jug falls into the well for the brothers. Fearing their father's wrath, they do not know what to do and are completely paralyzed. When they don't come home, the father gets so angry that he curses: "I wanted the boys to turn into ravens!" At the same moment seven coal-black ravens fly overhead.

Seven is a Saturnian number [2] and ravens are Saturn birds. Even without these symbolic keys, we know that this is a story that revolves around the theme of waiting, disappointment, and fear. In the house where Saturn stands, or in connection with the planets he aspects, our wishes do not come true easily and quickly. We encounter circumstances that we cannot control. The longed-for girl does not come - creative efforts do not bear fruit. The pitcher disappears - we make mistakes and suffer losses. We disappoint others and are disappointed by them - love and recognition are withheld from us. That sounds "bad" of course, but it's a kind of school. Through Saturnian experiences we meet limits and encounter the rough face of the hard and cold reality. We are introduced to the realm of time and form, which is slower and more uncomfortable than in our dreams.

In their grief over the loss of their sons, the husband and wife find solace in their little daughter, who miraculously becomes stronger and more beautiful every day. Her parents never mention the brothers in their presence because they want to save them from knowing that their birth was the cause of the brothers' disappearance. Uh, wait a minute, did I hear that right? Wasn't the father in control of the matter? Was he was it not that the sons were so afraid that they could not go home without the jug? Wasn't he the type who cursed his sons?

In dysfunctional families, responsibility is often the hot potato that is tossed from one to the other and ultimately ends up with the family member who is least able to fight it. If authority figures, i.e. the role models for Saturn, behave like this and assign blame, then who is to blame? The children. This is what is meant by when we call Saturn "karmic". He bears the burden of history where he stands. There may indeed have been a few lives where something went wrong that Saturn is now picking up again. But neither should we neglect the feelings of guilt, inadequacy and fear that have been passed on in the family over the generations. They weigh on our psyche as we furiously try to project them away from us. In other words, the false and limiting beliefs stored in your Saturn position may not even be your own!

Whatever is missing at the beginning of a story has a meaning: it represents the ability that can heal the characters. In the Saturn fairy tale it is the daughter - the female principle - who stands for fertility, receptivity, intuition and emotional sensitivity. When the girl is finally born, the jug - another female symbol - is lost. The father is neither vulnerable nor compassionate and does not have the strength to process his feelings himself, but rather utters the curse that destroys his family. It may seem strange to us that patriarchal Saturn needs the development of the feminine for her salvation. But the fairy tale may remind us that when we lack compassion and humility, the years just make us older, not wiser. It takes the receptivity and sensitivity of the water element to become a sage. Rigidity - unwatered earth - only makes us barren and old.

At some point we become aware of an unconscious curse in our Saturn house - an ancient belief, a poisoning thought, a limiting defense mechanism that we built when we felt powerless and at the mercy. Once we see the problem, what can we do? We have to embark on the daughter's journey.After learning of the fate of her brothers through the talk of the people, the daughter sets out to break the curse. She takes responsibility, one of the key words for Saturn. Do you feel how different this is from the horror of your brothers? Paralyzed by Saturnian guilt and fear, they had to interrupt their journey as ravens, far from their true potential. At different times we take on different Saturnian roles: the unscrupulous parent, old but not wise, the brothers, fearful and inexperienced, or the determined girl who is not afraid of the difficult path that lies ahead.

Our heroine travels to the end of the earth where she is terrified by the sun, which is hot and eats young children (our ego can devour our innocence). The moon is also cold and scary (emotional patterns prevent our growth). And yet, finally, she meets a few friendly stars (along with a good astrologer, maybe?) That give her useful information. She learns that she finds her brothers trapped in the glass mountain and receives a magical chicken leg that is supposed to unlock the glass mountain. Our heroine wraps the precious little leg in a cloth, but when she arrives at the Glasberg, the chicken leg has disappeared. Fearlessly she cuts off a finger and puts it in the lock instead. The mountain opens and her brothers are set free.

That she cuts off a finger is significant. It indicates that we must make everything we learn in Saturn's house our own. Saturn's effectiveness increases when we imprint our personal imprint on what tradition, our parents or teachers have left us, and become the new authority in this house. Only then will our full potential, like the seven brothers, be released. In this way, Saturn has a transformative effect. The inner child becomes a competent and compassionate inner adult.

And now to Jupiter's story. In "The Satchel, the Hütlein and the Hörnlein", three brothers are so badly off that they almost starve to death. They decide to try their luck in the world. Saturn would roll his eyes here and say: "But it is also high time, you fools!" Saturn gives its instructions on judgment and criticism. Yet Jupiter's style is open and encourages us to learn through exploration and discovery. We often encounter early luck in Jupiter's territory. But when this is "used up" it may take a while before we feel the pain. How someone who has inherited something is already bankrupt and lives on friends and credit cards and believes that happiness is just around the corner. With Jupiter, we feel young and unhurried - as if our whole life was still ahead of us. But at a certain point we just have to get moving and find happiness that is waiting for us around the corner.

The brothers enter a forest and discover a mountain full of silver. One brother exclaims: "This is the happiness I have been looking for!" and carries home as much silver as he can carry. The other two brothers want more from life than a mountain of silver, and so they travel on. You come to another forest and another mountain. This is made of pure gold. The second brother gets into a quandary: "Should I take enough of the gold to have enough in my life, or should I go on?" He finally decides to pack his pockets full of gold and go home.

But apparently there is more than one kind of happiness in the world. Saturn's happiness comes from perseverance and hard work, even if it often looks like "overnight happiness" from the outside. Jupiter's happiness just seems to fall from the sky. But we wouldn't stand with open hands to catch it if we didn't believe in miracles. Jupiter is the guru who tempts us with stories of enlightenment, the entrepreneur who paints a glamorous comeback. His high expectations and confident optimism create an aura of success that others can literally feel - this is why he is also a gifted salesman. The house in which Jupiter stands is the area in which we want to develop into greatness, where we are made to expand our limits beyond the usual framework. When we are on a journey to Jupiter, whatever will be available to us, we still dream of something better.

"Ha!" says the third brother, "Silver and gold, that doesn't bother me, I don't want to deny my happiness, maybe something better will come my way." And he goes on, through forest after forest, until he almost falls over from hunger. He climbs a tree and for miles sees nothing but tree tops. "If only I could feed my body one more time," said he. Lo and behold, at the foot of the tree he discovers a tablecloth loaded with food. "This time," he said, "my wish was granted in good time." (The silver and gold mountains don't count?) He eats his fill, puts the tablecloth in his satchel and moves on. In the evening he feels hungry again. He takes out his handkerchief and says: "So I wish that you were again occupied with good food." And to his surprise it happens! He realizes that it is a cloth cover and he thinks to himself: "This is the happiness I have been looking for!" But he quickly adds: "But I can't go home with a tablecloth alone." So he goes out again and looks for more treasures.

We have to keep moving in our Jupiter house, but it's a tricky business. We have a tremendous appetite here and we can literally get fat. Probably the biggest challenge is to focus on one thing and see it through. Our luck can leave us when too many projects drain our enthusiasm. Or we even forget to enjoy happiness when it comes. If you feel that you are completely out of luck in your Jupiter house or with the planets that form aspects of it, then you may need to start a new search. What is your vision of happiness here? If your first spontaneous answer is, "I don't know," then keep asking. Because there is a vision. And probably not just one. Pick the ones that motivate you deeply. And if that doesn't work, then build on the luck Jupiter has already brought you. Make a list of all the Jupiter gifts. It is as if you were spreading the cloth cover in front of you - because every blessing that is gratefully recognized invites a new blessing into life.

We need time to travel to Saturn's house. The past plays a big role here - solving a family curse takes time, effort, and patience. But in this way our inner child becomes wise. Jupiter's house needs space and breadth - the freedom to go on a search. And because your trip to Jupiter may never end, this is the place where we stay forever young - "forever young" as Bob Dylan sings. Jupiter and Saturn can teach you a lot about themselves and your world, one by striving, the other by strenuous work. As a team, you can bring you great success. And if you ever have to pass an astrology test and are asked the equivalent for "teacher" then I hope you name them both!


  1. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, Droemer Knaur 1937.
  2. The astronomical Saturn has seven rings and seven ice moons. The squares, opposition or conjunction of the astrological Saturn to its natal position occur every seven years.

MOONPRINTS by Dana Gerhardt

The readers of the American astrology magazine "The Mountain Astrologer" have appreciated this wonderful interpretation for over 20 years. Moonprints deals in depth with the background of your emotional life. You will gain new insights into the moon of the natal chart - its phase, sign, aspects and house. Discover your meaning in life, hidden talents and danger zones through the lunar nodes. Use the moon to anchor yourself in the rhythms of time - through transits to the moon, your progressive moon signs and houses, dates for two progressive lunar cycles, plus an annual course of the new and full moons through your entire horoscope. You will want to read every page of this interpretation that will appeal to both beginners and advanced astrology learners. The interpretation is also available in a German translation from Sabine Bends.

To the German edition of Moonprints

Translated from English by Sabine Bends